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Many people across the world suffer from mental health problems. In fact, one in four people will suffer from mental health problems at some point in their lives.

This year, Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) is focusing on Mindfulness – which is why we here at HMT are offering detailed information on the subject.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness, often referred to as “present-centeredness”, simply means paying attention to the present moment, which so many of us fail to do in our busy lives. It is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings, as well as the world around us. By becoming more aware of exactly how we feel, we can take significant steps to improving our mental well-being.

Living in the present will allow you to take notice of the sights, sounds, smells and tastes, and will also allow you to identify your feelings in each moment. By doing so, you can change the way you view both yourself and your life.

How Does Mindfulness Help?

Mindfulness will allow you to enjoy the world around you, as you will have an appreciation for each moment or act. You will experience things with fresh eyes, instead of taking experiences for granted. You can also take a step back from your life and see a pattern of your thought process.

What’s wonderful about mindfulness is it allows you to view your personal thoughts as just ‘mental events’ – and you will soon realise you are in control of those thoughts and feelings, not the other way around.

How Do I Practise Mindfulness?

One of the first steps you can take to mindfulness is to remind yourself to be aware of your feelings and thoughts. Instead of living your life on autopilot, you will pay more attention to the air you breathe, the foods you eat and the joy of everyday surroundings. It’s about changing your perspective on life.

Trying new things is one of the best ways to practise mindfulness. Go somewhere new for lunch. Try a new activity. Do something you wouldn’t ordinarily do. Be aware of your own thoughts and observe different environments. Mindfulness is about placing your mind in a different mode.

Yoga, meditation and Tai-Chi are great ways to practise mindfulness, as you will have a new awareness of thoughts, feelings and body sensations, and are naturally calming exercises designed to help you focus.

Mental health problems affect so many people across the world. Share this article with your loved ones. You never know who it might help.